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Thread: Can you drive to Skentna?

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Default Can you drive to Skentna?

    I was looking at Maps, Google Earth and Road Atlas and saw there was as a "Trail" to Skwentna.
    I was wondering if you could drive to Skwentna from say Anchorage, Wasilla without
    having an F-350 4 Wheel Drive. The reason I ask is that seems to be the the jump
    off spot for the supply line to my future remote cabin and was hoping to drive there
    in my rental Car/Truck in June. Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks for yor Help

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    By boat or snowmachine only.

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    By boat or snowmachine only.
    Thanks hogfamily. Where would you catch to boat to Skwentna that has road access
    in the summer?

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    You will need a riverboat and some river running skills, (how much depends on where your cabin is).

    You can launch your boat at the Deshka Landing or Susitna Landing and then itís down the Susitna River to the Yentna River then up river to Skwentna.

    There are also river freighting services that will take your stuff to Skwentna by barge in summer and by snow cat with sleds in the winter. Some people take stuff by snowmachine and freight sled.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Materials to your cabin are going to come in one of three ways. Snowmachine in the winter, by air to that strip in the middle of the subdivision by airplane, or by helicopter sling load. That is it. By looking at Google earth it doesn't look like a boat is going to work.

    Buying a snowmachine, hiring an airplane or helicopter are all going to cost roughly the same. At least at the end you will have a snowmachine if you decide to go that route. Even if you decide to cut lumber from your own timber (probably won't have enough on your two lots) you are going to need a snowmachine to move it. Any way you slice it, you are going to spend $5,000 to $10,000 to get a machine or fly in your stuff.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    You can barge in the summer and then overland from the river depending on how far from river whether there is a trail for four wheeler and if you can cross the land, (private property), etc. Or barge in summer; land on riverbank or at Skwentna and snowmachine in winter or fly to Skwentna and boat to riverbank, etc, etc. All depends on how much money you want to spend, (can afford), and how much work you are willing to do.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I was looking at Maps, Google Earth and Road Atlas and saw there was as a "Trail" to Skwentna.
    I was wondering if you could drive to Skwentna from say Anchorage, Wasilla without
    having an F-350 4 Wheel Drive. The reason I ask is that seems to be the the jump
    off spot for the supply line to my future remote cabin and was hoping to drive there
    in my rental Car/Truck in June. Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks for yor Help
    The trails that you are looking at are ancient Winter Cat (Catepillar) trails. I seriously doubt if you could even walk those trails in the Summer...

  8. #8
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I was looking at Maps, Google Earth and Road Atlas and saw there was as a "Trail" to Skwentna.
    I was wondering if you could drive to Skwentna from say Anchorage, Wasilla without
    having an F-350 4 Wheel Drive. The reason I ask is that seems to be the the jump
    off spot for the supply line to my future remote cabin and was hoping to drive there
    in my rental Car/Truck in June. Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks for yor Help

    You need to talk to these people about freighting your supplies in to your Skwentna area property...!!! They can get you and your supplies to Skwentna by boat... but further upriver is questionable... Winter time no problem by snow machine...

    Summer Freighters:
    Larry Heater (907) 495-1285
    Eric Johnson, Northwoods Lodge MB Mammoth 733-3742 NWL@GCI.net
    Ron Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001



    Winter Freighters:
    Adam Gabryszak, Yentna Freighting Service (907) 315-1772
    Gary Leeds (907) 733-3107
    Larry Heater (907) 495-1285
    Ron Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    Thanks hogfamily. Where would you catch to boat to Skwentna that has road access
    in the summer?
    see www.deshkalanding.com

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    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    You need to talk to these people about freighting your supplies in to your Skwentna area property...!!! They can get you and your supplies to Skwentna by boat... but further upriver is questionable... Winter time no problem by snow machine... Summer Freighters: Larry Heater (907) 495-1285Eric Johnson, Northwoods Lodge MB Mammoth 733-3742 NWL@GCI.netRon Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001Winter Freighters:[FONT=Arial]Adam Gabryszak, Yentna Freighting Service (907) 315-1772[/FONTGary Leeds (907) 733-3107 Larry Heater (907) 495-1285Ron Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001
    Hey John, you Internet good,LOL. I'm heading up in the morning
    JOHN

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    You need to talk to these people about freighting your supplies in to your Skwentna area property...!!! They can get you and your supplies to Skwentna by boat... but further upriver is questionable... Winter time no problem by snow machine...

    Summer Freighters:
    Larry Heater (907) 495-1285
    Eric Johnson, Northwoods Lodge MB Mammoth 733-3742 NWL@GCI.net
    Ron Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001



    Winter Freighters:
    Adam Gabryszak, Yentna Freighting Service (907) 315-1772
    Gary Leeds (907) 733-3107
    Larry Heater (907) 495-1285
    Ron Van Wavern River Express Freighting (907) 354-7001
    Hogfamily, Old John and AKdoug, Thanks alot for your help. Great infomation! I knew this would
    not be easy or cheap but this certainly helps putting the pieces togethter and planning my budjet.

    When I go up in the summer I will look at the trail from the river to my property. A rough guess
    would be about a mile or so to my property. I am 1/4 mile from the river but have
    private property between me and the river.

    I am leaning towards having a company like Friesens to bulding the main parts
    of the cabin as taking this on by myself might be tough getting all the tools, materials
    and generator together and getting it to the property. I don't want this to be the
    20 year plan like it has been with my houseboat LOL

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=t
    I am leaning towards having a company like Friesens to bulding the main parts
    of the cabin as taking this on by myself might be tough getting all the tools, materials
    and generator together and getting it to the property. I don't want this to be the
    20 year plan like it has been with my houseboat LOL[/QUOTE]

    Friesens does good work.. A good choice... However, I'd recommend you start talking to them ASAP so they can get your material freighted in this winter... Unless you plan on using a Helo to get it in there next summer...

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    Friesens does good work.. A good choice... However, I'd recommend you start talking to them ASAP so they can get your material freighted in this winter... Unless you plan on using a Helo to get it in there next summer...
    Thanks Old John, I will not be building this season and don't want to start until I have a good look at the
    property. I am at Canyon Lake and we have an airstrip and Floatplane access. I do agree that staging materials
    during the Winter and building in the Summer is probably the most economical.

  14. #14
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    I finally took the time to look up Canyon Lake subdivision.

    You are above the Skwenta River canyon so there will be few people interrested in freight hauling with a boat up there. You are also on the south bank of the Skwenta River so there won't be much water to work a loaded boat into up to the bank.

    The landing strip is really short so you are limited to fairly small single engine planes. There appears to be a longer strip about a mile down river right on an overgrown gravel bar - probably really private.

    Back to your original question about a trail. A lot of maps show trails all over the State. These are seldom correctly identified as winter trails. We don't have a lot of bridges up here so you can only use the trails when the river is frozen.

    Looking at Google Earth the area around Canyon Lake looks decent. Lots of spruce trees well spaced out with not many "grassy meadows". Avoid the grassy meadows for all summer activities.

    BTW - in looking at the Canyon Lake subdivison map at DNR, don't be fooled in thinking that this platt map is what things look like on the ground. Nobody has cut in the trail/road easement shown on the map. Many times the first folks that show up cut a trail how the need it to work and it usually crosses over other folks land rather than through the easements. It can lead to "miss understandings".....

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I finally took the time to look up Canyon Lake subdivision.

    You are above the Skwenta River canyon so there will be few people interrested in freight hauling with a boat up there. You are also on the south bank of the Skwenta River so there won't be much water to work a loaded boat into up to the bank.

    The landing strip is really short so you are limited to fairly small single engine planes. There appears to be a longer strip about a mile down river right on an overgrown gravel bar - probably really private.

    Back to your original question about a trail. A lot of maps show trails all over the State. These are seldom correctly identified as winter trails. We don't have a lot of bridges up here so you can only use the trails when the river is frozen.

    Looking at Google Earth the area around Canyon Lake looks decent. Lots of spruce trees well spaced out with not many "grassy meadows". Avoid the grassy meadows for all summer activities.

    BTW - in looking at the Canyon Lake subdivison map at DNR, don't be fooled in thinking that this platt map is what things look like on the ground. Nobody has cut in the trail/road easement shown on the map. Many times the first folks that show up cut a trail how the need it to work and it usually crosses over other folks land rather than through the easements. It can lead to "miss understandings".....
    Thanks AK Ray. I have actual ground pictures of the property from the seller. He spent three days out
    there in 2009. The one trail that I know is there is the one from the floatplane drop off that runs towards the
    river and it "brushes" my property line. Not many trails out there as there are only a few cabins.

    Through the forum I do have a local contact to call but am waiting until I have all the
    right questions lined up as I would not want to waste his time or mine. I will be intersted
    to see what he went through to build his cabin, how he supplies himself and how often
    he has to deal with the Bears. This is just a start, still so much to learn but looking
    forward to the experience and the education!

    I have to say the information I have recieved form this forum has been tremendous!
    All of you guys/gals have been very helpful , Thanks!

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    One thing you may consider, and it would have to be checked out by someone who knows what they are doing, is checking the frozen river to see if you could land a beaver there. The strip down the river is not very long if I remember right, and nither is the one a mile or so from the lake. I really think AKDoug is right on getting a snowmachine. You will have it for many winters to come.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    Thanks AK Ray. I have actual ground pictures of the property from the seller. He spent three days out
    there in 2009. The one trail that I know is there is the one from the floatplane drop off that runs towards the
    river and it "brushes" my property line. Not many trails out there as there are only a few cabins.

    Through the forum I do have a local contact to call but am waiting until I have all the
    right questions lined up as I would not want to waste his time or mine. I will be intersted
    to see what he went through to build his cabin, how he supplies himself and how often
    he has to deal with the Bears. This is just a start, still so much to learn but looking
    forward to the experience and the education!

    I have to say the information I have recieved form this forum has been tremendous!
    All of you guys/gals have been very helpful , Thanks!
    Tabmarine..
    You really need to look at your property (and surrounding area) in the winter, and again after spring breakup.... you'll be amazed at the difference....

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roamak View Post
    One thing you may consider, and it would have to be checked out by someone who knows what they are doing, is checking the frozen river to see if you could land a beaver there. The strip down the river is not very long if I remember right, and nither is the one a mile or so from the lake. I really think AKDoug is right on getting a snowmachine. You will have it for many winters to come.
    Yeah all of it points to a snowmachine for transport. Thats eaxactly why I am leaning towards
    having a company build it. Living and working in Florida will only allow me about 4-6 weeks
    a year in the Summer to enjoy my cabin until retitrment and investing in a snowmachine
    would not be practical. An ATV more likely. I know you guys may think I'm a wuss but
    my ideal retirement would be living on my houseboat in the Florida Keys from October til May
    and in my cabin in Alaska June til September

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    The trails that you are looking at are ancient Winter Cat (Catepillar) trails. I seriously doubt if you could even walk those trails in the Summer...
    Sounds like some interesting history with those old Cat trails, Old John. Do you know what they were used for in the past? Maybe logging or mining equipment hauls?

    Thanks,

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by salmonid View Post
    Sounds like some interesting history with those old Cat trails, Old John. Do you know what they were used for in the past? Maybe logging or mining equipment hauls?

    Thanks,
    Oil and Gas Exploration. Several Herc Strips and capped wells in addition to the Dozed Lines.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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